Yoweri Museveni, the veteran president of Uganda, charged on Wednesday that Europe’s energy and climate policies toward Africa amounted to “brazen double standards.”
In response to the energy crisis brought on by the conflict in Ukraine, he attacked Europe’s decision to restart coal-fired power plants while admonishing African countries to stop using fossil fuels.
Museveni stated in a blog post on Wednesday, the day the UN’s COP27 climate summit was taking place in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, “We will never accept one rule for them and another rule for us.”
He also said that “Africa should not have to bear the consequences of Europe’s failure to achieve its climate goals.”
Following warnings from African leaders at COP27 about the harm that climate change is already causing on the continent, Museveni made his remarks.
In February, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning that the effects of global warming would cause tens of millions of Africans to experience drought, disease, and emigration in the future.
According to the UN, wealthy countries only contributed $83 billion of the $100 billion they had promised to give developing countries each year starting in 2020 to help them develop resilience and greener economies.
Africa has the smallest carbon footprint of any continent, contributing only 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
One of Africa’s most seasoned leaders, Museveni, declared, “We will not allow African progress to be the victim of Europe’s failure to meet its own climate goals. He also said It is morally repugnant for Europeans to demand the use of African fossil fuels for their own energy needs while refusing to accept African use of the same fuels for their own.”
Museveni criticized the “brazen double-standards” and “hypocrisy” of Western investments in fossil fuels in Africa being limited to oil and gas that would be sent to Europe.
A $10 billion deal was signed earlier this year by China National Offshore Oil Corporation and France’s TotalEnergies to develop oilfields in Uganda and transport the crude through a 1,445-kilometer (900-mile) pipeline to a port in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean.
Environmentalists and activists have fiercely opposed the project, which involves drilling in Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest national park, claiming that it endangers the area’s vulnerable ecosystem and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.
Kampala was outraged when the European Parliament passed a resolution in September calling for the project to be delayed due to “rights violations.”